Why your baby needs you to breastfeed

by Candy Powell BSN, RN, IBCLC, RLC, CCE, Lactation Consultant and Certified Childbirth Educator at the Medical Center Hospital Center for Women and Infants.

 

As seen in the Odessa American’s Medical Matters at:

https://www.oaoa.com/people/health/medical_matters/article_65628f18-9cc3-11e8-b26b-437cd1d03725.html

 

Breastfeeding is a vital part of healthy child development and provides the best start to life for any baby. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding is the standard for infant feeding.

The World Health Organization recommends:

  • early initiation of breastfeeding within one hour of birth
  • exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life
  • introduction of nutritionally adequate and safe complementary (solid) foods at six months together with continued breastfeeding up to two years of age or beyond

Why is breastfeeding important for your baby?  

Breastfeeding provides essential nutrients and antibodies that boost an infant’s immune system, providing protection from childhood illnesses. Benefits for breastfed infants include:

  • reduced risks for diarrhea and respiratory infections
  • protection against childhood obesity
  • protection against non-communicable diseases later in life, including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus
  • higher intelligence quotient
  • reduced risk for allergies.

 

Is there any benefit for the mother? 

Yes, breastfeeding is important for mothers too. Women who breastfeed have a reduced risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, obesity and osteoporosis.

World Breastfeeding Week

World Breastfeeding Week occurs annually the first week of August and is celebrated in more than 170 countries worldwide. During the week, the World Health Organization promotes the benefits of breastfeeding and raises awareness about this essential part of every person’s life course.

The 2018 theme, “Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life”, encourages breastfeeding as a way to promote mother-child bonding and to provide vital long-term health benefits to both mother and child. According to the Lancet 2016 Breastfeeding Series, “Improved breastfeeding practices have the potential to save the lives of 823,000 children and 20,000 women a year.”

World Breastfeeding Week also calls attention to local efforts that support breastfeeding.

Available local breastfeeding assistance and information

Medical Center Hospital’s Center for Women and Infants (CWI) Infants is designated as a Texas Ten Step Hospital which means policies and practices promote breastfeeding. CWI staff encourages and supports new mothers to breastfeed by giving them information and support throughout their pregnancy, in the hospital and after they are home.

 

Baby Café (FREE Drop-in Breastfeeding Center)

The MCH Baby Café is a free, drop-in breastfeeding center for mothers seeking more information or help with breastfeeding. Baby Café is free and open to breastfeeding mothers every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon in the CWI fourth floor classroom.

 

Oh Baby! Breastfeeding Basics (FREE CLASS)

Learn about the basics of breastfeeding and how to start off breastfeeding with tips on positioning, latching, how to recognize a good latch and how milk is produced.

Date and Time:  Saturday, August 4, 2018, 10:00 a.m. to noon

Location: MCH Center for Women and Infants, Fourth Floor Classroom

 

Sustaining Breastfeeding and Returning to Work (FREE CLASS)

Learn about accommodation laws and your rights in the workplace, child care, pumping to maintain and enhance milk supply and how to smoothen transitions from home to work and back.

Date and time:  Wednesday, August 8, 2018, 11:00 a.m. to noon

Location: MCH Center for Women and Infants, Fourth Floor Classroom

 

For more information on these free local resources, contact:

Candy Powell BSN, RN, IBCLC, RLC @ cpowell@echd.org  or 432-640-1714

Ashley Harry BSN, RN, IBCLC, RLC @ aharry@echd.org  or 432-640-1784

 

Gynecological Needs After Hysterectomy

by Dr. Avelino Garcia, MCH ProCare Women’s Clinic

Many women assume that once a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) is completed, they no longer have need for a gynecologist. This, in fact, is not true! There are many health care needs for women, even after hysterectomy.

Pelvic Pain or Pain with Intercourse

A yearly pelvic examination is encouraged for all women, even after child bearing years. During a pelvic exam, the gynecologist assesses the vaginal anatomy, looking for any skin abnormalities or lesions. During a bi-manual examination, the gynecologist feels internally and externally for any masses or abnormalities. These examinations also help to assess women who suffer from pelvic pain or pain with intercourse.

Bladder or Bowel Issues

Some women have problems with pelvic support, or a relaxation of the muscles that support the bladder and rectum. These women may suffer from urinary leakage, difficulty completely emptying the bladder or issues moving the bowels. These are issues that can be diagnosed and assessed by an annual pelvic examination by a gynecologist.

Menopausal Symptoms

As women age, menopausal symptoms can occur, even long after a hysterectomy. Some women suffer from hot flashes, especially at night. Many women complain of problems falling or staying asleep. After menopause, vaginal dryness and recurrent infections in the urinary tract (bladder infections) are very common, which can also lead to painful intercourse or pelvic pain.  These are also important issues that are addressed by a gynecologist during your annual examination.

Bone Changes

Bone changes occur as women age. According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (www.acog.org), “A small amount of bone loss after age 35 years is normal for both men and women. But during the first four to eight years after menopause, women lose bone more rapidly.” This increases the risk for osteopenia or osteoporosis. This is addressed by Bone Density Screenings (DEXA Scans) that are ordered every other year after the age of 65.

Breast Health

Breast health is also an important issue addressed yearly by the gynecologist. During an annual examination, a breast exam is completed by the provider. Yearly mammograms are ordered to screen for breast cancer.

 

Yearly examinations by a gynecologist are still important, even if you do not have uterus. Make your health a priority! Call MCH ProCare Women’s Clinic for an appointment today at (432) 640-2491.

So, I have to have a breast biopsy. Now what?

by Dr. Gage Hicks

 

As seen in Odessa American Medical Matters: http://www.oaoa.com/people/health/medical_matters/article_a5d8b580-d21c-11e7-8f31-9faf6bd0e5e2.html

Maybe an abnormality was detected on your screening mammogram or you were feeling a lump, imaging of your breast most likely showed an abnormality that needs further evaluation with biopsy. This means that additional evaluation of the abnormality is needed in order to determine if cancer cells are present. A biopsy obtains pieces of tissue from the area of concern so that a pathologist can look at it under the microscope and determine if it is (or isn’t) a breast cancer.

A biopsy can be performed in several different ways, and the type of biopsy recommended is often determined by the appearance of the abnormality in question. Most breast biopsies can be performed without surgery, through a tiny incision in the skin (percutaneous biopsy). A small amount of numbing medicine is injected into the skin and below the skin (local anesthesia) so that you don’t feel pain during the biopsy. Some breast biopsies are best performed surgically, and more advanced anesthesia is required in those cases.

The types of biopsies that are performed without surgery (through tiny incisions in the skin and with local anesthesia) are ultrasound-guided biopsies and stereotactic biopsies:

  • An ultrasound-guided biopsy uses ultrasound imaging to visualize the needle as it passes through the area of concern. The doctor is able to watch what is going on inside the breast as the needle takes the small pieces of tissue. In my opinion, these are the easiest biopsies to perform – both for the patient and for the doctor. Most masses can be biopsied in this way.
  • A stereotactic biopsy uses mammogram pictures to guide the biopsy needle to the correct location in the breast. These biopsies tend to be a little bit more difficult for the patient … not because of pain (the numbing medicine takes care of that), but because the breast has to be compressed (like in a mammogram) and because the patient has to be very still during the procedure (just like you have to be still during a mammogram). Stereotactic biopsies are most often used to biopsy calcifications in the breast (these cannot be seen with ultrasound). However, occasionally masses in the breast are not seen with ultrasound and can be biopsied in this manner as well.

Just because a biopsy was recommended, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have cancer. But the radiologist is concerned enough that a biopsy was recommended for further evaluation. There are several criteria that the radiologist takes into account when recommending biopsy of an abnormality in the breast. Certain abnormalities are highly suggestive for cancer based on their appearance, and a biopsy is needed to determine what type of breast cancer we are dealing with so that the appropriate treatment plan can be put in place prior to surgery. However, this is actually not the most common scenario. More often, a biopsy is recommended for an abnormality that is suspicious for cancer but not necessarily highly suggestive for cancer. This is because there is a lot of overlap between the appearance of abnormalities that are not cancer (called benign) and abnormalities that turn out to be cancer.

 

 

Mammography: Frequently Asked Questions

by Dr. Mason “Gage” Hicks, Radiologist
As seen in the Odessa American Medical Matters at: http://www.oaoa.com/people/health/medical_matters/article_6a3aea48-b692-11e7-9190-137b296bd2ab.html

Why do women need to have yearly screening mammograms?

It reduces a woman’s risk of dying from breast cancer. Studies have shown that mammography screening cuts the risk of dying from breast cancer nearly in half.

When should a woman start having mammograms?

There are conflicting recommendations from different societies. We follow the American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging guidelines which recommend yearly screening mammograms beginning at age 40 for women at average risk for breast cancer (most women). Studies have shown that this is how we will save the most lives.

Why yearly and not every other year?

It’s simple … yearly screening results in more lives saved than screening every other year.

Should a woman ever start having screening mammograms before age 40?

There are certain situations where a woman should start mammography screening before age 40 … women who are considered high risk. If you are unsure, then talk to your doctor. The American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging never recommend screening mammograms before age 25.

What are some reasons a woman would be considered high risk for breast cancer?

Women with certain genetic mutations (BRCA1 or BRCA2), family history, women who received radiation to the chest at a young age (usually for treatment of Hodgkin’s disease) and women with a personal history of breast or ovarian cancer.

What is 3D mammography?

3D mammography, or breast tomosynthesis, is a breakthrough technology in breast imaging that allows a clearer, more accurate view of the breast (as opposed to the traditional 2D mammogram). It allows the breast radiologist to see through the different layers of tissue in the breast. This improves breast cancer detection.

What are the benefits of 3D mammography?

Earlier detection of small breast cancers

Clearer images of the breast tissue

Fewer additional tests or unnecessary biopsies

Greater accuracy

Greater likelihood of detecting multiple cancers

What does it mean if my doctor says I have dense breasts?

It has to do with the way you are made. It doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with you, though it can increase your breast cancer risk. Every breast has different amounts of fatty tissue versus glandular and connective tissue. When you look at a mammogram, the black/darker parts of the breast are the fatty tissues and the white/lighter parts of the breast are the glandular and connective tissues. When you have dense breasts, it means that there is more of the white/lighter tissues relative to the black/darker tissues.

What is the significance of having dense breasts when it comes to mammograms?

Most cancers also look white on the mammogram. So when you have dense breasts (more of the white/lighter tissues), it sometimes makes it harder for the radiologist to detect cancers. The dense breast tissue can sometimes obscure cancers (particularly smaller cancers) and make them difficult, or even impossible, to see.

What should I do if I have dense breasts?

It’s something to talk to your doctor about. DON’T stop having mammograms. Certain types of cancers, particularly those that present as tiny calcifications in the breast, can easily be detected on mammograms … even in dense breasts. Your doctor may recommend additional screening depending on your overall breast cancer risk. Additional screening with breast MRI can be a valuable tool in certain patients.

Do I need a “screening mammogram” or a “diagnostic mammogram”? What’s the difference?

Generally speaking, if you are not having any breast problems and it’s time for your yearly mammogram, a screening mammogram is recommended. Diagnostic mammograms are generally performed on patients that either had an abnormality detected on their screening mammogram, or are having some kind of breast problem (lump, pain, discharge, etc.)

If the patient had a potential abnormality on a screening mammogram, a diagnostic mammogram is performed for further evaluation. This usually involves specialized mammogram views and possible ultrasound of the area to determine the nature of the abnormality and determine if a biopsy is needed.

The diagnostic mammogram is not better pictures or better image quality than the screening mammogram. It is just performed in a way that allows the problem or potential abnormality to be fully evaluated with the necessary imaging while the patient is in the department. Personally, I like to talk to every patient that has a diagnostic mammogram so that they leave our department with peace of mind and understanding of what my recommendations are.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Please make your mammogram a priority in your life and encourage your loved ones to do the same. Early detection saves lives.

 

Why Gynecological exams are necessary over the age of 50

Why Gynecological exams are necessary over the age of 50
by Dr. Avelino Garcia

As seen in the Odessa American “Medical Matters”:
http://www.oaoa.com/people/health/article_ac8bab86-6efc-11e7-a82a-cfddeecc16cb.html

Many women feel that there is no longer a need for a gynecologist after childbearing. For women over the age of 50, yearly exams are encouraged and very important. Even if a yearly pap smears are not needed, pelvic and breast exams can give your doctor information to keep you healthy.

Getting a yearly physical exam is so much more than just a pelvic exam and breast exam. A general physical exam begins with a detailed health history, including family history and any health changes that may have occurred. An examination of vital signs, including blood pressure, pulse and oxygen saturation, is also included with a yearly examination. Measurements of your height and weight combine to create your Body Mass Index, or BMI. These numbers can tell a doctor a lot of helpful information regarding your current health.

A pelvic exam can evaluate the condition of your vaginal tissues, cervix, uterus, ovaries and rectum. Even if you no longer have a uterus, a yearly pelvic exam is still encouraged to evaluate vaginal anatomy and pelvic health. If you have a cervix, a pap smear with screening for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is collected. A positive HPV test could mean that you are a carrier of the HPV virus and therefore at increased risk of cervical cancer. If your pap smear shows abnormal cells in conjunction with the HPV virus, further testing and treatment may be required. If both pap smear and HPV screenings are negative, it is safe to have a pap smear collected every two to three years. Just as a reminder, even if a pap smear is not required, a yearly pelvic exam still needs to be performed.

Even though it is uncomfortable, a rectal exam is encouraged to check for masses or lesions. A check of your stool for blood can also be done at the same time. Baseline screening colonoscopies are encouraged after the age of 50. However, if there is blood in the stool, a visit to the gastroenterologist is imperative for evaluation of your colon health. Screening colonoscopies are recommended earlier than the age of 50 if there is a history of cancer or colon problems in the family.

A yearly breast examination is performed to evaluate breast health. This examination includes the doctor looking at your breasts and nipples for leakage, lesions, redness, dimpling or other signs that there could be a problem present. The provider then does a manual examination, feeling the breast tissues and the under arms for lumps or masses. A yearly mammogram is recommended after the age of 40, unless a close family history of breast cancer is present. This includes mother and/or sisters with breast cancer.  If there is a close family history, yearly screenings may begin earlier, based on the age of diagnosis.

Bone Density, or DEXA scans, help the provider evaluate your bone health. These tests are generally recommended for those aged 65 or over. These tests are encouraged every two years. It is important to keep bones healthy with Vitamin D and Calcium supplementation as well as regular weight bearing exercise.

Screening blood work can be completed by your primary care provider or your gynecologist. Yearly testing to check iron levels in the blood, cholesterol levels, thyroid levels, and blood sugar levels are some recommended testing. Further blood work can be completed to check for hormone imbalances. The provider may also check your Vitamin D and Calcium levels to help evaluate bone health.

Last, but certainly not least, it is important to discuss required immunizations with your provider. A yearly flu shot is encouraged, especially over the age of 50, unless there is a contraindication. A TDaP (Tetanus/Diptheria/Pertussis) vaccine is required every 10 years. After the age of 65, a one-time pneumonia vaccine is recommended. The CDC recommends that anyone over the age of 60 receive the Shingles vaccine.

It is time to put your health first and get your yearly examination.

MEDICAL MATTERS: Good Nutrition is Vital for Pregnancy

MEDICAL MATTERS: Good Nutrition is Vital for Pregnancy
As seen in the Odessa American “Medical Matters”: http://www.oaoa.com/people/health/article_a63f49c0-0c5c-11e7-ae5b-5f1dde4cc0cb.html

by Dr. Avelino Garcia

Good nutrition is vital for a healthy pregnancy. Between fatigue and pregnancy cravings, it can seem difficult to keep healthy eating habits. Planning healthy meals and staying physically active can help.

Eating five or six small meals daily, rather than three large meals, can help with nausea and can also help pregnant women get extra vitamins and minerals needed for growing babies. Each day, eat foods from the major food groups, keeping fats and sugars in moderation. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins are encouraged. Be sure that red meats are fully cooked, not rare, as this can cause illness in a pregnant woman. Fish and seafood are good sources of protein, but stay away from seafood with high mercury content such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish. Limit white (albacore) tuna to 6 ounces weekly.

Hydration is also a key part of proper nutrition. Pregnant women are encouraged to drink at least two liters of water daily. Symptoms of dehydration in pregnancy include thirst, headache and uterine cramping. Sugary and caffeinated drinks increase risk for dehydration, so they are to be avoided.

Staying physically active is one of the healthiest things an expectant mom can do for her unborn baby. Thirty minutes of low intensity exercise, like walking, is encouraged.

Unless an expectant mother has a high-risk pregnancy, exercise can help regulate blood sugar levels, keep blood pressure in the normal range, and minimize abnormal weight gain.

The United States Department of Agriculture has made meal planning easier by creating www.choosemyplate.gov. The website assists everyone, including pregnant women, figure out how to make healthy choices with each meal. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Nutrition During Pregnancy, the MyPlate website gives “personalized nutrition and physical activity plans by using the ‘Super Tracker’ program. This program is based on five food groups and shows the exact amounts needed each day from each group during each trimester of pregnancy.”

 

Lactation Consultant with MCH Center for Women & Infants

MCHS Center for Women & Infants
by Candy Powell BSN, RN, IBCLC, RLC
Lactation Consultant with MCH Center for Women & Infants

Medical Center Hospital Center for Women & Infants recently received redesignation as a Texas Ten Step facility through 2018. Medical Center Hospital has been a Texas Ten Step facility for over 15 years.

The Department of State Health Services (DSHS), in collaboration with the Texas Hospital Association, developed the Texas Ten Step Program in 1999 as a method to improve maternity care practices in birthing facilities. Policy development, education of staff and provision of discharge resources for breastfeeding mothers are key initiatives of the program.

Endorsed by the Texas Medical Association, the program is based on the World Health Organization (WHO)/United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, a bundle of evidence-based practices proven to increase breastfeeding exclusivity and duration and reduce racial and ethnic disparities.

The long-term benefits of breastfeeding for babies and mothers are undisputed. Breastfeeding is linked to decreased risk for infant illness and mortality. It is also associated with reduced risk for maternal illness.

Practices that delay or interrupt the first breastfeed, that cause separation of babies and mothers or that result in formula supplementation of breastfed babies make it difficult for mothers and babies to successfully breastfeed. Hospitals’ support of mothers who wish to remain in close contact with their infants and to feed them only breastmilk helps to ensure successful breastfeeding from the start, with continued exclusive breastfeeding once they go home.

MCH has two very important practices that support breastfeeding:

  • skin-to-skin for baby and mom immediately after delivery
  • “rooming in” where baby remains in the room with mom throughout their hospital stay

Our policies reflect the importance of supporting breastfeeding through the care that we provide to our mothers and infants.

A multicenter, randomized control study found that babies born in hospitals whose policies promoted exclusive breastfeeding were significantly more likely to be exclusively breastfed at six months. Other studies confirm that evidence-based maternity practices, including “Baby-Friendly” hospital standards, improve mothers’ chances of achieving their breastfeeding goals.

Although breastfeeding is natural for mother and baby, it also requires a set of skills that need to be learned. Birthing facilities are best positioned to foster skill development and nurture breastfeeding behaviors during this critical period for successful establishment of lactation.

It is well-documented that maternity practices in infant nutrition and care have a significant impact on a mother’s initiation and continuation of breastfeeding. This means that Medical Center Hospital plays an important role in the health outcomes of babies born in our facility and enhance the health and patient satisfaction of our patients.

As the number of women who intend to breastfeed rises, families are seeking hospitals that support and encourage their efforts to breastfeed. MCH Center for Women & Infants is the only hospital in this area that is designated as a Texas Ten Step member. We recently completed a year-long collaborative with other Texas hospitals to improve our breastfeeding practices. The Texas Breastfeeding Learning Collaborative was done in conjunction with Texas WIC and the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) throughout the state of Texas. We shared, learned and created new ways to support and promote breastfeeding in our facilities. We are very proud of the work done and of the results that will benefit our patients for years to come.

 

Singing the Blues

Singing the Blues
by Dr. Krystal Murphy

Postpartum Blues or Baby Blues is a form of mild depression that generally starts 2-3 days after the birth of a child and should be taken very seriously.  Sometimes the signs are subtle, but the effects it can have on the new family are very real. Although lack of sleep, irritability and anxiety are common problems for new moms, there should be special attention given if these feelings are extreme or become persistent.

Things about Postpartum Blues you should know

  • At least 50% of new moms experience postpartum blues
  • Symptoms usually get better within a few days to 2 weeks and resolve without any treatment
  • Women with postpartum blues are at increased risk of developing postpartum depression
  • 25% of new fathers suffer from the Baby Blues

Early signs and symptoms of the Baby Blues

  • Depressed mood or severe mood swings
  • Crying for no clear reason
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Trouble eating, sleeping and making decisions

If you or a loved one experience these symptoms for more than two weeks, you should contact your OB/GYN for evaluation. Starting a life with your new baby is a tremendous challenge, but know that you are not alone! Prompt treatment and attention can place you and your baby on the path that will lead to a beautiful journey of discovery.

Krystal Murphy, M.D.,
Obstetrics and Gynecology
MCHS, ProCare
318 N Alleghaney
Odessa, TX  79761
(432) 640-2491

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month – is here!
Please remember how important it is to get your yearly screening mammogram!

Here are some important facts* as to why a screening mammography is so important:

  1. One in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer over their lifetime.
  2. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in women. (behind lung cancer)
  3. Over the last few years, the death rates have been declining, particularly in women under 50. Because of increased awareness to the disease, this is believed to be directly connected to EARLY DETECTION through mammography.
  4. No family history? Did you know that 85% of all breast cancers are in women with no family history of the disease?

Medical Center Women’s Imaging offers you excellent technologist experience … five certified mammographers with over fifty cumulative years of experience take care of mammography patients. MCHS is proud to have two Board Certified Fellowship-Trained Radiologists on staff who are specialists in breast health.

MCHS Women’s Imaging promises to take excellent care of you and your loved ones during your screening exam, 2D or 3D mammogram, bone density and/or breast MRI. MCHS Women’s Imaging also provides stereotactic, ultrasound and MRI guided biopsy procedures.

During the entire month of October, Mammogram Madness event features a 3D Screening Mammogram for just $99! Call the scheduling line at 432-640-4208 and ask for the Mammo Madness Special.

If you know someone who has not scheduled a mammogram due to lack of insurance or financial concerns, please let them know that this Mammo Madness special will help uninsured and under-insured ladies who need to be screened. During other months, there are many financial assistance programs available to assist those who need their mammogram.

Please take care of yourself and encourage your loved ones to also be proactive with their healthcare. Schedule your mammogram today at 432-640-4208!

* Source: United States Breast Cancer Statistics

World Breastfeeding Week 2016

World Breastfeeding Week 2016

by Candy Powell BSN, RN, IBCLC, RLC – MCHS Lactation Consultant

During World Breastfeeding Week 2016, we celebrated all the support that women receive – from partners, grandparents, IBCLC’s, breastfeeding specialists and voluntary support organizations.

The aphorism “it takes a village to raise a child” seems applicable to breastfeeding in this society, where families often lack cultural and practical knowledge.

Most women stop breastfeeding reluctantly, feeling that they have no other choice. Others start using formula but continue some breastfeeds. That is why MCH invests in support services, drops-ins, Baby Cafe, peer support and free lactation consults for patients that deliver here both during the prenatal period and after delivery of their baby.

The value of social support

Social support is vital in enabling breastfeeding; it is far more than just chatting. Breastfeeding depends on motivation, confidence and resilience as well as accurate practical information. Mothers often derive these most effectively from other mothers. The Baby Café model integrates skilled specialist care with social support. A recent evaluation of women’s experiences of breastfeeding support found reasons for attending varied from a need for general support, particularly for isolated women, to help with breastfeeding ‘crises’.

Research shows that women value authentic support, so they can develop trust in supporters, who listen with empathy, take time and affirm mothers’ own abilities.

I always get the help I need. Always. No matter how silly the question is, they’ve always got an answer… it’s nice because they do remember your name, they do remember your baby, and it just feels, it feels nice.

Partners and families can have a strong influence on decisions to breastfeed and can support women to continue, especially when they encounter breastfeeding difficulties.

They kind of supported my husband to support me; he helped me once we got home with positioning and, you know, he would say, oh you remember about this position, why don’t you try that?

The evaluation found that effective social support, combined with help from skilled practitioners, can enable women to overcome difficulties and continue feeding for as long as they would like.

Peer support: Helping mom on her road

In keeping with enhancing community support, the MCH Baby Café has partnered with WIC to train peer counselors, who provide one-to-one and group support and influence the perception of breastfeeding in communities.

We place high value on a non-judgmental, listening approach, enabling women to do what is right for them and their family. To make this a reality for more families we need a supportive culture so we will continue to work to change wider perceptions of breastfeeding and offering family-centered support.

 

For more information on Baby Café and breastfeeding assistance, please contact MCHS Lactation Consultant Candy Powell BSN, RN, IBCLC, RLC at (432) 640-1714 or Ashley Harry, RN at (432) 640-1784.